Youngsters from schools across Lancashire stormed to success at this year’s SPAR Lancashire School Games County finals, clinching a total of 55 medals.
More than 2,000 pupils from 15 districts took part in the largest youth sporting event across Lancashire, in a bid to be crowned county champions in 16 sports following months of qualifying competitions. This year pupils enjoyed battling it out in glorious sunshine at Stanley Park in Blackpool.
The title of overall county champions was presented to team Chorley for the second year running, with the district clinching a total of nine medals – beating last year’s total of six.
As a tradition, the opening ceremony was hosted by Rock FM, where presenter Pete Otway introduced pupils marching in the district parade. The parade was led by team Chorley after Ayeesha Mahmood from Buckshaw Primary School won the annual cultural flag competition.
Gabriella Sykes from Oakhill School in Ribble Valley shared her pledge speech at the opening ceremony, underpinning the values which the SPAR Lancashire School Games upholds; determination, honesty, passion, respect, self-belief and teamwork.
The Lancashire Lion, SPAR Lancashire School Games mascot, was on hand to cheer on pupils throughout the day, while more than 200 young leaders from across Lancashire volunteered to support the event in a variety of roles such as school games makers and new for 2018, SPAR media leaders.
During the closing ceremony, children entertained the crowds with energetic performances including ‘Be Our Guest’ by pupils at Coppull Primary School in Chorley, St Aiden’s High School performed a dance medley from Cats the musical, Chorley Dance Academy showcased their talents in a mixed dance routine, while youngsters from Euxton Primary School got the crowd singing along to their rendition of ‘Electricity’ from Billy Elliott the musical. Spectators were also treated to a performance from Britain’s Got Talent star Ella Shaw.
Now in itstwelfth year, the SPAR Lancashire School Games is organised by Active Lancashire, implemented by the county’s school games organisers and sponsored by James Hall & Company Ltd, SPAR distributors for the North of England. Each organisation comes together to comprise a series of inclusive sporting events that provides competitive and participative opportunities for all school children across Lancashire.
Peter Dodding, sales and marketing director at James Hall & Company Ltd, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to support and be part of the biggest youth sporting event in Lancashire. We are committed to encouraging young people of all abilities to participate in competitive, inclusive team sports and each year at the county finals, I am blown away by the passion the children across Lancashire have about keeping active.
“I’d like to personally congratulate all those who took part and most importantly had fun throughout the day.”
Adrian Leather, chief executive at Active Lancashire, said: “As the SPAR Lancashire School Games continues to grow each year we see more and more youngsters across Lancashire taking part, having fun and trying new sports which is exactly what we aim to achieve.
“As always, the county finals event was a huge success and it was fantastic to see youngsters from across Lancashire getting in the team spirit at each sporting event. Congratulations to everyone who took part.”